Jan 28th, 2018
China golf takes off as Li Haotong beats McIlroy
High drama at the Dubai Desert Classic
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: European Tour
Not bad for the World Number 60! Li Haotong faced down the one and only Rory McIlroy after overturning a two-shot deficit from the 10th hole to win the Dubai Desert Classic.
Li made clutch birdies on 13 and 15 to pen Rory back. At the 16th McIlroy made an uncharacteristic bogy and suddenly Li was in the box seat.
The pair matched each other, birdie for birdie, at 17 and 18 but the Chinaman prevailed to give his country a much-needed golf shot in the arm.
Li's hair tries to make a break for it after being confronted with a hatless Rory....
Li, 22, finished -23 under as both players finished with three-under-par 69s.
Li, who won the 2016 China Open and finished third at last year's Open Championship, becomes the first Asian winner of the event and earned the biggest victory of his career.
You might remember that Li he threw his putter in a lake at the French Open in 2017, only for it to be fished out by his mother. NO dramas this time around and we're assuming ma will be chuffed to bits.
Good work, fella!!